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AAA: As Gas Prices Continue To Rise, High Costs Could Impact Economy

AAA: Gas Prices Rose 12 Cents Last Week, Nearing $4/Gallon Average
Gas Pump (file / credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Gas Pump (file / credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP)Average gas prices continue creeping back up to the dreaded $4 per gallon mark.

As WCBS 880’S Jim Smith reported, that critical threshold could affect the cost of living.

“When you get to $4 a gallon, everybody is negatively affected and they start cutting back on things like entertainment, going to the movies, eating out,” Robert Sinclair, Jr. with AAA New York told Smith.

Sinclair added that $4 mark tends to be a psychological barrier for many drivers.

Truckers are feeling the pinch even more, with diesel costing upwards of $4.30 per gallon.

Sinclair said the high fuel prices have a ripple effect across the whole economy.

LINK: Check Gas Prices

“There’s a negative trickle-down that affects the entire population when we see fuel prices rise the way they are,” he said. “Those extra costs get passed on to the retailer, who passes them on to the consumers.”

Sinclair added he expects prices to remain high for the rest of the summer.

Last week, AAA reported that gas prices had risen 12 cents over the week prior, and noted that many drivers are experiencing “sticker shock” at the pump.

AAA said increased summer demand, unrest in Egypt and production disruptions in the U.S. and other countries have contributed to hiking the price of crude oil and gasoline.

The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline was $3.67 a gallon on Friday.

AAA says that’s 23 cents more expensive than the same time last year but still below the all-time daily high of $4.11 a gallon on July 17, 2008.

The association says retail gas prices are likely to rise more in the coming weeks.

Unscheduled refinery shutdowns or hurricanes on the U.S. Gulf Coast could also add to price increases.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)